We all have used vinyl records that nobody wants. Well, you don’t. Of course, your collection is a pristine manicured garden. It’s curated to only award winning specimens of the rarest of rare records. Some of us, though, spend more than enough time hunting for vinyl records or cds and tapes. We live at flea markets, record stores, and wherever else there might be “vinyls”, as the kids these days call them.
Sometimes, I find some record that’s an unknown mind-blowing holy-grail loner basement butt blast. Between those are tens of thousands of boring average records. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of semi-successful record collecting, it’s to be yourself.
You may get some temporary success by attempting to cash in on popular styles of music. Your career will be at best a footnote in the great dollar bin of history, though. If you don’t believe me, ask Mitch. Be unique, work hard to express your vision and yours alone. If you don’t think you have the skill to execute your vision, your drive and inspiration will count. Even if it’s decades after you’ve forgotten about recording it in the first place.
It’s definitely difficult to see the value of records in the database that nobody has and nobody wants. There is value, though, it’s somewhat more abstract. What about lowly school band or church choir records? Those have recording studios, mastering engineers, and sometimes even notable session musicians. There’s only been so many vinyl pressing plants in the world. Joe Sixpack’s love ballads were pressed alongside Frank Sinatra or The Kinks. Unknown diamonds exist. Stuff like Star Trek actor Jonathan Frakes’ school marching band record, or comedienne Wanda Sykes’ college gospel choir record, or early artwork by cartoonist Garry Trudeau.
At the end of the day, you won’t know if you don’t look. The internet won’t tell you everything cool that exists, because it doesn’t know everything. It’s especially easy in these days to rely on other people to say what’s good or not. Heck, I’m part of the problem by posting best of lists here every few weeks. Go out and go crate digging, go buy vinyl records or cds or tapes or whatever you can get for pennies on the dollar. Take risks and escape the mould.